How will COVID-19 relief stimulus payments affect your government benefits? Weeks Law Firm provides a simple guide.
The federal government is issuing stimulus payments this week, to help with the recovery from the COVID pandemic. If you receive SSI or SSDI, the check should be deposited in the same manner as your usual check.
Does the stimulus money disqualify you from government benefits? Remember that you generally cannot have more than $2,000 in countable resources to receive certain government benefits. The stimulus check will not count against you as a countable resource immediately. You have 12 months to spend the stimulus money before it counts against you as a resource for eligibility for SSI and Medicaid.
No limitations on how you spend your stimulus payments
You can use the stimulus payment for anything you want. You can use it up all at once, or over the next year. You are not limited in how you use the money in the same way you are limited in the use of your SSI funds.
You can put the check into an ABLE Account, and then you can spend it at any time without the 12-month limit. Putting it into the ABLE account allows you to save the money for when you want to use it. Funds in the ABLE account do not count toward your resource limit.
If you receive unemployment benefits, it counts against you as unearned income for SSI/Medicaid purposes. You must report the unemployment payments to the Social Security Administration immediately. The unemployment payment will be considered income in the month received. If you still have some of it in your bank account the following calendar month, it will be counted against you as a resource. You can put up to $15,000 into an ABLE account so that the funds don’t remain in your checking account the following month.